In my opinion, the best part about attending a domain conference is having the opportunity to get together with friends and colleagues, and to meet with companies I do business with or want to get to know. With nearly 600 attendees, the inaugural NamesCon conference was packed, and I think it was a big success.
It’s pretty clear that the new gTLDs were a main focus at NamesCon. There were many new faces (to me) in the crowd, and it seemed that many were there specifically to discuss or learn about the new gTLDs. The three track agenda enabled attendees to pick and choose topics of interest to them. I found the topics to be interesting and fairly specific, which was important since there were so many panel sessions. I did not get the feeling that the new TLDs were being “shoved down our throats,” and that was appreciated.
The only keynote speech I was able to attend was Frank Schilling’s. Frank makes a compelling argument about why the new domain names will be adopted and used, and I will not be surprised if that is true. I am still not convinced about the opportunity for domain investors to make money with new gTLDs, but Frank is very passionate about them, and it was helpful to hear his position in person. At this point, I plan to watch from the sidelines, but I may have some skin in the game. To me, the prospects of change and opportunity are exciting though.
I had a number of meetings during the conference, and I was a panelist discussing domain development. I really liked the panel format that was used and found it to be a good way to hear from many different people. I also liked that there were a variety of moderators for the panels.
The Tropicana Hotel & Casino has never been on my radar when I’ve visited Las Vegas for bachelor parties and a vacation, but I found the layout very accommodating for public and private meetings. There were seating areas outside of the main conference area, and there were plenty of seats in the exhibit booth. I thought my hotel rooms was clean (if not a bit musty), but I didn’t really spend much time there.
Richard Lau, Jothan Frakes, Jodi Chamberlain, and the people who helped organize the event deserve major kudos for pulling this event off in just a few short months. I didn’t notice any glitches, and everything ran smoothly. I am happy to hear that this will become an annual industry tradeshow, especially because it felt like it had been around for years. If you missed this year’s NamesCon, I recommend coming next year. The price is right, and you can map your own schedule to learn about what you want and have meetings with vendors, colleagues, and friends.